Religious Studies in the International Master of Arts Program at the College of Religious Studies (CRS) is the scholarly study of religion seeking to understand religion as a cultural phenomenon in strictly value free terms while at the same time appreciating believers’ worldviews and value systems as vital components of their life experience. Religious Studies seeks to examine and understand the structure and function of religion in its social and cultural contexts. A variety of academic disciplines – history, sociology, anthropology, psychology etc – are used in the study of religion. This academically objective study of religion is rather unique at institutions in Southeast Asia.

    CRS plans to become a center for the academic study and teaching of religion in Southeast Asia with a research and teaching focus on contemporary belief, practice, and development of Thai and Southeast Asian religion in regards to ethics, politics, the environment etc and of course in regards to personal spirituality. The International MA Program will aid students in understanding the dynamics of religious adaption in response to modernization and globalization. It is hoped that education and research in the field of religious studies will help enhance the mutual understanding, cooperation, and respect among people of different religious traditions.

    CRS produces graduates with appropriate professional ethics and work habits who are capable of understanding complex belief systems, practices and their socio-cultural context. Graduates are capable of reading and understanding religious and academic texts, conducting research, writing academic reports and papers, and serving as advisors on variety of cultural, political, economic etc issues in which religious belief forms an important part. CRS graduates can communicate and interact in different religious and cultural backgrounds and as well as in the secular modern world.


    The College of Religious Studies was established in 1999, located at the Namthong Building, Salaya Campus of Mahidol University.

    The College is currently offering Bachelor’s and post graduate degrees to produce competent teachers and scholars of religion to increase the academic understanding of religion and to serve modern needs of Thailand and the wider global community. The majority of our students enter graduate or professional school either immediately after graduate or the following year. Many of them find employment in various professions.

    The College has established cooperative partnerships with many agencies, both governmental and non-governmental, in the effort to contribute to the wellbeing of the people and the nation.

    In addition to the University Computing Center and internet access for its staff and students, CRS provides its own computer facilities for staff and students. The College has a computer laboratory for teaching, data analysis and other needs of its staff and students. The CRS library contains over 12,000 titles of books, journals and academic materials on religions, philosophy and related subjects. The library provides training in the use of the internet to access libraries and organization with religious and related materials throughout the country and aboard.


    The International Master of Arts Program aims to provide students with the opportunity to concentrate their studies and research on one of three tracks: Religious Studies, Buddhism and Society, and Buddhism & Islam focusing on the academic study of religion, religious belief and practice in contemporary society, and current moral issues. The program is designed to promote an academic approach to religion in multi-cultural settings.

    The curriculum extends over 18-months. The twelve months are devoted to course work in order to build a strong foundation for conducting independent research, students begin the work on their Master’s theses during the rest of 6 months and the degree candidates will have to submit theses to fulfill the requirements of the program.

    The program requirements include successful completion of the course work and a thesis, under the close supervision of the College's academic staff. The program requires at least 24 credits for course work (8, 3 credit courses) and 12 credits for thesis. A minimum grade point average of 3.00 is required.


    The tuition and fees for the entire program (18 months) is Baht 172,600.- (approx.US$ 5,760.-) which includes: University education service fee, course registration fee for the entire program, University health insurance fee for two academic years and thesis registration fee.

    In addition, the recommended expenses: estimated amount of US$ 600 for student’s thesis preparation, US$ 300 for book allowance for the entire program and US$ 600 for monthly stipend.


    It is the responsibility of the admitted applicants to acquire a non-immigrant visa at the nearest Thai Embassy or Consulate to enter Thailand for study


    A variety of accommodation with facilities can be found in apartments near the campus. Residence for Buddhist monk students can be arranged at the College monastic housing and training center.


    Program Director
    M.A. International Program in Religious Studies,
    College of Religious Studies,
    Mahidol University,
    Salaya, Phutthamonthon,
    Nakhon Pathom 73170

    Tel: 02-800-2630 Ext. 212, 306
    Fax: 02-800- 2659

    E-mail : patthaporn.pru@mahidol.ac.th,imtiyaz.yus@mahidol.ac.th
    Website: www.crs.mahidol.ac.th

    Applicants should have at least a Bachelor’s degree in sciences, social sciences, humanities or education. Applicants from non-English speaking countries are required to submit a document indicating the level of their English proficiency. Normally, A TOEFL score of no less than 500, or its equivalent, is necessary in order to keep a normal pace with the class lectures and discussions, and to manage a heavy reading load. Application for admission to the Program may be made through either of these two channels:

    1) Mahidol University Selection Process (for Thai applicants)
    Applications must be submitted to the Faculty of Graduate Studies. The selection process involves a written examination and an interview.
    Please visit the website: www.grad.mahidol.ac.th for further details and application form.

    2) College of Religious Studies Selection Process (for Thai and International applicants)
    Applications must be submitted to the M.A International Program, College of Religious Studies. The selection process involves review of the application materials with the optional of written examination and interview. Along with a completed application form and two references, applicants must also include transcripts of their undergraduate or graduate course work and pre-proposal for their Master’s theses. Completed application forms and accompanying documents must reach the program by mid - July
    An application form can be downloaded from the website : www.crs.mahidol.ac.th  Only application form may be submitted through email

    Application Form Download

    Applicants are advised to seek their own financial support. Some potential sources of funding include bilateral and multilateral agencies such as the United Nations, Ford Foundation, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), UNESCO, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Bank’s Graduate Scholarship Program, and etc.


College of Religious Studies, Mahidol University,
Salaya, Phutthamonthol 4, Nakhorn Prathom, 73170, Thailand
Tel. (02)800-2630-9 Fax. (02)800-2659
Email : crwww@mahidol.ac.th

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